From ‘ Singapore Girl gets a makeover’, 3 April 2013, article by Karamjit Kaur, ST
THE Singapore Girl has junked her bright blue eyeshadow for a more subtle and modern look. She is still immaculate in her body-hugging signature kebaya with her hair nicely done, but the colours on her face are less striking.
In her first major makeover in more than a decade, the iconic Singapore Airlines (SIA) Girl is sticking to blue, green, plum and brown eye make-up, and red lipstick to complement the colours of her kebaya. But the tones and shades are more subtle than before and trendier, said the airline’s head of cabin crew, Mr Marvin Tan. “When we embarked on this project with our long-time grooming partner Lancome, we took into account feedback from some customers that the previous colours seemed to be on the strong side,” he told The Straits Times last week.
…Freelance make-up artist Dollei Seah believes that SIA is taking the right step. “Wearing a blue outfit with blue make-up is very 80s. You can keep the blue but it should not be too much and it should be blended with other shades to create a more natural look.”
…Businessman Alex Wong, 53, said: “I’m glad the SIA Girl is moving towards a softer look. I do think some of them are too heavily made up, especially when compared with girls from other carriers.”
In 2007, David Keith, president of Asia Pacific, Garner International, urged SIA to ‘get rid of the blue eyeshadow from the days when the Beatles were stomping around’. Experts in the field call it ‘very 80s’, while others mock her ‘screaming red lipstick and over-the-top blue eyeshadow’. Blogger ‘The Last Alpha Male’ says it ‘basically looks good only if you’re WHITE‘ and ‘not in uniform’. I’m no fashion guru, but it seems blue eyeshadow doesn’t appear to as out-of-date as it’s claimed to be. The ‘electric blue’ look has been pulled off by celebrities such as Katy Perry and Rihanna as recent as 2009. I don’t know how it works on the Asian face without turning out like the evil character in some Chinese opera, or a Japanese manga fairy.
With the body-hugging, impractical kebaya still remaining as the signature icon of our Singapore Girl, I’m not sure how this ‘toning down’ of makeup is in any way a ‘makeover’. It’s like trimming your eyebrows or piercing a new earhole and declaring that you’re a ‘new you’. Singapore Girls still bun up their hair, waddle around gingerly and are probably the only stewardesses in the world who wear slippers during work. Having creepy eyeshadow hasn’t stopped our SIA girls from being voted among the world’s ‘hottest’ stewardesses either, at the risk of their brand being labelled as ‘sexist’ still.
In fact, bright blue eyeshadow is scarcely noticeable from SIA ads and promos in the past, and I suspect feedback of SIA girls looking like the they’re auditioning for a Chinese Ghost Story are purely anecdotal, or exaggerated.
An example of overzealous use of blue makeup however, comes off a Wikipedia page. Even then, I personally have never been shocked by one, or at least not to extent that I thought that I was on an interplanetary flight to Pandora, planet of Avatar, instead of onboard a SIA plane.
Maybe it’s a guy thing. I wish I could say this tiny change ‘blue’ me away, but it doesn’t. So what gives? Is this an ‘out-of-the-blue’ marketing stunt to get people interested in the Singapore Girl once more? It’s not as if more people will flock to book SIA tickets now because their stewardesses look less like Abba. I personally never had a problem with our SIA girls looking like Twiggy or a roller skating disco dolly (maybe because I can’t afford to fly with them so often) as long as their reputable service standards are up to par, but it’s not so much the putting on of heavy makeup that bothers me, but the putting on of fake accents. No amount of physical grace or ‘subtle, trendy’ shades of blue will compensate for pretentious English in my opinion.
Still a great way to fly, no doubt, but the feathers on this majestic bird haven’t changed one bit.